The Mass: The Glory, the Mystery, the Tradition : A Book Review

The Eucharist is the source and summit of the Catholic faith.  As such, it is perfectly fitting that Cardinal Donald Wuerl and Mike Aquilina would co-write a book to teach the faithful about this crucial aspect of their faith.  Published near the time of the implementation of the new Mass translation, it guides the reader through the Mass step-by-step.

The first half of the book seeks to help the reader grow in greater knowledge about the history of the Mass, the different names for the Mass, the people involved, and the different materials used in the celebration of a typical Mass.  By covering this aspect first, they are setting the stage for the Mass to be understood in a new way.  Pictures are included to help the reader visualize the specific vessels used in Mass or the way different parts of the Mass would actually look.

Once the stage is set, the materials are identified, and the faithful are equipped with the necessary background knowledge, the authors launch into a thorough walk through of the Mass.  Each aspect of the Mass, from the simple opening prayer to the purification of the vessels after Communion, is explained and presented in a way that is both easy to grasp and yet provides knowledge that helps deepen one’s spirituality.  After reading through what the prayers mean, it is difficult to view the Mass in the same way.  I will find myself at Mass hearing a specific line in a prayer or watching the priest do something and will recall the greater significance from the book.

If the Eucharist is the “source and summit” of the Catholic faith, it is necessary to understand it as fully as possible.  Reading this book ensures that you will be able to grasp more fully the nourishment that is being offered to you through the saving Bread of Life that is Jesus Christ.  The book ends with sending you out to actually live out the Eucharist and to live out the closing words of the Mass: “Go forth, the Mass is ended!”

**I received this book free through “Blogging for Books.”

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